The Clever Root

Spring 2018

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4 0 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t ANATOMY OF Delicious and incredibly versatile, salmon is consumed around the world. It's no surprise, then, that this vibrant orange-fleshed fish has played a vital role in culinary tradition, cultural lore, and ecological cycles spanning thousands of years. Salmon We "farm" almost 99 percent of all Atlantic salmon, but approximately 80 percent of Pacific salmon are wild-caught. It's said that in their natural habitats, salmon return to the exact spot where they hatched to spawn—this process, known as natal homing, has been confirmed in some habitats by tracking studies. The name "salmon" likely comes from the Latin term "salmo," which originated in the early 13th century. It's a derivative of "salire," meaning "to leap." A fixture in ceremonial feasts around the world, salmon are central both spiritually and culturally to Native American mythology on the Pacific coast; Celtic mythology and poetry, in which they were often associated with insight and intelligence; in Norse stories of Loki and the gods; and in Irish and British folklore as well, where the fish makes an appearance in Arthurian legend. While Atlantic salmon consists of one type of fish, the Pacific category is more varied. The five main species consumed in the U.S. are Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, and Sockeye. As a seafood staple, salmon enjoys a long and storied history. It certainly doesn't hurt that it can be consumed in myriad of ways, including raw in sushi and poke, canned, cured, cold-smoked, and grilled. As a particularly oily fish, salmon is lauded for its health benefits thanks to its high protein content and abundance of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. We spot spawn—this "salmon" from the "salmo," originated in the century. It's "salire," leap."

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